Sunday, January 10, 2016

The View of the Sound

It would in my opinion amount to constructive negligence to forego historical commentary upon the details of my daily navigation on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. In spite of the obvious repetition of everyday events there are too many delicious ingredients to ignore. Besides a faithful record of this trivia may one day provide truck for fond recollection.  It is after all sadly true that the wings of many Canadian "snow birds" are eventually clipped by incremental poor health and a corresponding escalation of health insurance costs.

This blithe environment - like any other low-pressure area of privilege - runs the risk of being under-stated. The more sustained the benefit, the more likely it is to be taken for granted. While bliss is not as easily forgotten as pain, and while we may ceaselessly harbour those happy impulses, nonetheless it is not uncommon to cast a wistful eye upon the past once it has slipped from view and seek a medium to relive it.  To capture these idyllic moments is not what I would call the enterprise of a day but I at least sense the depth of flavour which insinuates everything on this Island and appreciate that it is sufficiently profound to warrant reiteration.

It no doubt assists to engender a favourable view of our peephole on the Island that we have a welcoming aspect of Calibogue Sound, the Ocean channel between Daufuskie Island and Braddock Point at the south end of the Island. Our regard of the Sound is pleasingly obstructed by Palmetto ferns, Sea Pines, sand dunes and the beach.  The Sound like any vast body of water tends to expand the horizon and draw one into it.

The acme of this relieving experience is a bicycle ride on the beach. The sky is huge and magically uplifts one's soul! During the off-season months that we are here there are remarkably few people on the beach. Quite frankly we relish the agreeable lonesomeness of the Island. The strength of the Island springs from its spectacular natural features, the beach, the forest preserves, the birds, dolphins and alligators.

Today we drove to Beaufort, SC about an hour north of here, also on the Atlantic coast. The wide, coastal highway weaves its way through expansive marshlands which are clearly the habitat for untold wildlife and marine life. There are several impressive bridges as well, rising high above the water, affording dramatic views. While we didn't linger for long in Beaufort we at least glimpsed the village charm of this decidedly Southern town where the comfortable homes date back centuries.

Back on Hilton Head Island I preserved my motoring pleasure by streaming in the blinding sunshine along William Hilton Parkway and then in the dappled alleyway of South Sea Pines Drive. Having a clean automobile is to me an unsurpassed privilege at this time of year.   Yesterday I lodged the car at Island Car Wash for detailing, including a hand polish and cleaning of the floor mats. The service at this combination automatic/hands-on outlet is better even than most personalized services.

Admittedly I am buzzed today because of the confluence of several factors.  The dent on my car has been repaired (hammered out in so-called "paintless repair"). And did I mention already that it was polished? My computer has been decontaminated of its offending Adware Virus.  The sunshine was brilliant. The laundry was done. My clothes fit. I resisted the English muffins which I stashed in the freezer yesterday morning (though I succumbed to spoonfuls of organic peanut butter). I also resisted the gooey cinnamon roll in the cafĂ© at Beaufort today and had instead a fruit cup. My mother's affairs are under control.  My sister and I talk regularly on the telephone.  My nieces are doing passably well.  Our finances and personal relationship are good. And I bought a jar of cocoanut petroleum for my hair at Harris Teeter today! I slathered it on my newly trimmed hair.  Aside from smelling like a cocoanut, my hair is certainly staying in place and there is more than a mild hint of lubrication. I had intended to spend the declining hours of the late afternoon by the pool in the sunshine but opted instead to go to the TD Bank ATM on New Orleans Road.  Such abuse we suffer to convert from Canadian dollars!

I could of course go on and on about the many other attractions here. Right to the end of the day it is an exceedingly special place. More than once I recall how astonishingly lucky I am.  I understand that I am insulated like Siddhartha from many of the harsh realities of life.  I am not yet however so convinced of the vanity of materiality.

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